Organisational Semiotics

The International Workshops and Conferences on Organisational Semiotics


Organisational Semiotics, a branch of semiotics, focuses on the nature, characteristics and behaviour of signs. The term Organisational Semiotics (hereafter OS) was officially coined in the first international workshop in Twente in 1995 after a long time of research by colleagues who have worked in the many fields of organisational studies and information systems. OS opens up new ways of understanding the functioning of information and information resources in organised behaviour. It treats organisations as the real information systems in which technologies have an essential role to play. It develops this perspective using the established discipline of semiotics, the theory of signs. The fundamental notion of sign - anything that stands for something else with a certain community - offers a handle for in-depth study of human and technical aspects of information systems.

The OS community aims to meet annually by running the OS workshops. The community has been fortunate in receiving support and recognition from IFIP (the International Federation of Information Processing). In 2001, the IFIP WG 8.1 held a working conference in Montreal 2001 entitled "Organisational Semiotics - Evolving a Science of Information Systems", which reflects the ambition of establishing a new discipline by the OS research community. The table below summarises the meetings held in the past years.

No. Type of event Host/venue Year Deliverables
1st International workshop University of Twente, Enschede (NL) 1995 Proceedings
2nd International workshop University of Twente, Almelo (NL) 1999 Book by Kluwer
3rd International workshop Staffordshire University, Stafford (UK) 2000 Book by Kluwer
4th IFIP WG8.1 Working Conference Concordia University, Montreal (Canada) 2001 IFIP official conference proceedings (book by Kluwer)
5th International workshop Groningen University and Delft University, Delft (NL) 2002 Book by Kluwer (to appear)
6th International workshop The University of Reading (UK) 2003 Book by Kluwer (to appear)
7th International workshop Setúbal, Portugal 2004 IFIP official conference proceedings
8th International workshop Toulouse, France 2005 IFIP official conference proceedings
9th IFIP WG8.1 Working Conference San Paolo, Brazil 2006 IFIP official conference proceedings
10th IFIP WG8.1 Working Conference Sheffiled, UK 2007 IFIP official conference proceedings
11th IFIP WG8.1 Working Conference Beijing, China 2009 IFIP official conference proceedings
12th IFIP WG8.1 Working Conference Reading, UK 2010 IFIP official conference proceedings
13th IFIP WG8.1 Working Conference Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, 2011 IFIP official conference proceedings
14th IFIP WG8.1 Working Conference Stockholm, Sweden 2013 IFIP official conference proceedings
15th IFIP WG8.1 Working Conference Shanghai, China 2014 IFIP official conference proceedings
16th IFIP WG8.1 Working Conference Toulouse, France 2015 IFIP official conference proceedings